Your irrigation system should work season after season without having any issues. However, at some point, ongoing wear and tear may make it necessary to replace or repair some of the system components. In some situations, it is as simple as replacing some of the sprinkler heads to ensure your system is restored to efficient and proper working conditions. Keep reading to learn some of the most common reasons sprinkler heads would need to be replaced.
Heads That Don’t Retract or Pop Up
Most of the modern, pop-up sprinkler heads have springs that will pull them into the ground or cause them to pop up depending on the total water pressure. In some situations, sand may get caught between the riser stem and cap-gap, which can cause the head to jam.
You can try to fix this problem, but sometimes it will be beyond repair. If that’s the case, replacing the sprinkler head will be the best option.
Blow-By from the Sprinkler Riser
Blow-by is the small amount of water squirting from the gap between the cap and riser stem when the raiser is elevated. A small amount of this blow-by is completely normal. It will help clean the grass and dirt off the riser as it moves up and down and works to lubricate the seal. If you notice a large amount of water squirting out, this isn’t normal. If this happens, replacing the entire sprinkler head is the only option.
Leakage Between Cap and Riser when Extended
You should never see water leaking between the cap and riser stem when the riser is completely extended. You can check this by turning the sprinklers on and inspecting everyone for leaks when the riser is completely extended. If the riser isn’t coming up completely, you can pull it with your hand and hold it in place.
It is important to check each sprinkler head. If the one closest to the zone valve has begun to leak, it may keep the sprinkler furthest away from the valve from popping up completely. When your sprinkler is extended and leakage occurs, it indicates one of the following problems:
- Scratched cap
- Scratched riser
- Bad riser seal
Head Is too Low to the Ground
A sprinkler head too close to the ground can’t extend enough to distribute the water properly. This may result in coverage problems and flooding near the heads. Dirt is much more likely to get caught in sunken sprinklers, which can cause mechanical failures and retraction. In these situations, you should replace the sprinkler and install a new one at the proper height for the area.
Keeping Your Sprinkler Heads Working Properly
If you want to ensure your sprinkler heads continue working properly, there are more than a few factors to consider. With the information above, you will know some of the most common issues to watch for and when to replace the heads to ensure the system works properly.